October 8, 2015
After reading the proposed Green Group Host Agreement some weeks ago, I have become increasingly concerned about the wisdom of entering into a negotiation at this time.
Having served for five years on the State Bar of Texas Judiciary Committee, I’ve been called upon to discipline lawyers who have failed to recognize the pitfalls of such contractual agreements. And I’m speaking particularly of contracts designed to offer small monetary inducements in order to secure protection from substantial monetary liabilities in the future. Some of these bad-faith contracts, in addition, were written to cast benign corporate predispositions as if they were actually legal obligations, soon to be abandoned once an operation was up and running. The proposed Host Agreement reeks of these intentions and tactics.
I now see, in the Lockhart Register, that Green Group has lost the permit endorsement of the TCEQ in Waller county, and for gross misrepresentations of the setting for its proposed landfill.
So what we have here is:
(1) A bad-faith Host Agreement that, among other onerous features, obligates Caldwell County to defend the activities and effects of the eventual mega-landfill owner against the protest of its own citizens against bad business practices, pollution, toxic materials, and traffic congestion;
(2) An ethically discredited organization — Green Group Holdings — whose misrepresentation of significant facts and destruction of important documents forced the TCEQ, after a huge investment of its resources in facilitating the permitting process, to withdraw its support.
Just like Waller County, we too have the opportunity for an Administrative Hearing that addresses the actions, intentions, and representations of Green Group Holdings in regards to the site and operations of its proposed landfill.
To preempt this important process of review and challenge by prematurely entering into a Host Agreement — especially given what you already know about the party on the other side of the table and the essential character of the Host document — would be a lasting disservice to the citizens whom the Court has been elected to serve.